Today’s Reading: Exodus 8:16-24

Daily Lectionary:  Genesis 29:1-30; Mark 9:14-32

 

“But on that day I will treat differently the land of Goshen where my people dwell where no flies shall be so that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.” (Exodus 8:22)

 

Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Why does God do bad things? Why does He send plagues in the Old Testament? Why does He strike down the firstborn? How can God do such bad things?

He is God. We are His creatures. We are going to struggle to figure out what God is doing. His ways aren’t going to make sense to us. He’s God. He doesn’t have to explain what He is doing and why He’s doing it to His creation. Even if we had the whole thing figured out, our sin and selfishness would cloud and skew our take on what He is doing. When He did bad to us, it would seem unfair. When He did good, it would feel deserved. It is a dangerous thing to judge God.

To learn about God and ourselves, we need to let our Creator speak to us. He does the talking, we do the listening. He does the work, we are on the receiving end of His being our God.

He is our God. We are His people. When God describes Himself, He says that He is good. If He is doing something, it is good. All that He does is described as good! This is why Luther thought that good and “God” must be related linguistically. The words even look the same.

When God describes us, He describes our works: not good! We are selfish and self-centered. We don’t do what God wants us to do. We do what He doesn’t want us to do, daily and much. We aren’t deserving of God’s goodness. We deserve nothing but punishment.

When God causes calamity for us, when He brings suffering into our life, when He calls us out of our sin with punishment, it seems like He is indifferent and evil. But He is not! Even when we think He’s hitting us with a plague of bad, God is doing what He needs to do to save us.

Look at the Cross! God truly shows how He is toward us on Good Friday. He is born into our flesh to live as we are to live and to die the death we deserve. On the Cross, which seems like the most evil thing in the world, God is working out salvation for all men. On the Cross, Jesus shows us that all He does and says is done to save you!

Why does God do what He does? He does it all to save me! He punishes me to make me alive. He disciplines me because He cares for me. If I wonder whether He’s good to me, all I need do is look to the Cross. Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. George Borghardt

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